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Skateboarding News

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hunt Park skatepark to expand

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Xavier Lannes at Hunt Skatepark, 2008
Some users of the skate park at Riverside's Hunt Park said Wednesday they are glad to hear the city will be nearly doubling the size of the facility.

"It should be expanded, because it's pretty small as it is," said 16-year-old skateboarder Andre Atkins.

The additions he and other park users suggested -- rails, staircases and other fixtures for skateboard and bike tricks -- are just what the city has in mind, parks director Ralph Nuñez said.

The City Council this month hired a contractor to make $1.2 million in improvements at Hunt Park. The work will include enlarging the skate park from 8,700 square feet to 28,000 square feet and remodeling the pool house that serves the outdoor swimming pool.

The pool house was built in 1957 and renovated 30 years later but has not been updated since. The building will get a roof, and the solar panels that now sit on top will be moved to create a shade structure parents can use while their children take swim lessons, Nuñez said.

The skate park, which is mainly a multichambered concrete bowl, will get more street course elements, including rails and ramps of different sizes.

Expanding the park "will provide more challenging opportunities, but it'll also provide more opportunities for kids that are just starting out," Nuñez said.

The skate park will close for construction around the end of January and should reopen in mid-June.

Atkins and BMX bike rider Shaun Walton, 19, both said the park can get crowded, so the expansion should help. Walton said it's time improvements were made. He said the city promised to fix cracks in the pavement but hasn't done it, and he has called several times about the lights.

Forrest Edwards, 20, of Riverside, enjoys the skate park. The skate park will get more street course elements, including rails and ramps.
Someone pulled out the wiring and now the park lights don't work, Walton said.

"We leave when it gets dark," he said.

The city's other plan for the skate park, to set aside separate hours for BMX riders to use it, was met with skepticism Wednesday. Officials are exploring separate BMX hours after a group of bikers recently asked the council for their own park.

State law protects cities from liability regarding skateboarders but not bikers, so the bikes are technically not allowed at skateboard parks. Officials also are concerned about bike-skateboard collisions.

On Wednesday, youths on bikes, skateboards and scooters seemed to be sharing the park without incident. Atkins said he hasn't seen any problems between different park users.

Walton said he thinks separate hours for bikes would make each group -- bikers and skaters -- more territorial and competitive.

"They should just leave it like they have it," he said.

The Press-Enterprise

Riverside will make $1.2 million in improvements at Hunt Park, including enlarging the skate park from 8,700 to 28,000 square feet. The skate park will close for construction around the end of January and should reopen in mid-June. The park is off Jackson Street near Parkview Community Hospital.
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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Sunday, January 16, 2011 

Anonymous Anonymous said...

does any one know when this place is actually supposed to open?said mid june and now it mid july, just wondering

July 14, 2011 at 1:52 PM  

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